Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Book Review (Sunanda J. Chatterjee's Fighting For Tara)

Title: Fighting For Tara
Author: Sunanda J. Chatterjee

I was in a classroom, a student of journalism. One of the other students, another female, was lamenting about the problems of being born in a family which was not very welcoming to the idea of an independent, earning daughter.

Go back a couple of classes. Mr. Ramesh Menon, our teacher had narrated an experience of his. In a village in Rajasthan, he had been courteously welcomed into a home. Tired and thirsty, he had asked for water. He was offered some milk instead.
He reiterated that he wanted just water. He was told that there was no water and was offered milk again.
Later he was told by the local person he was traveling with that he had embarrassed the host family by asking for water. Water is scarce and precious. 
The women of the family walked miles for the water.

Back to the class that I started with. Mr. Menon's answer was simple - Think of those women of Rajasthan. Every single day, a large part of their day is spent to get water. What little is left is spent in cooking and taking care of the family.
Be thankful for, or at least accept, what you have, and do your best from that point on.

Mind you, this was years back. So I just remember the gist of this conversation. Not the details and certainly not how Mr. Menon expressed himself.

I thought of this and more as I started reading Fighting for Tara. It is a book that tugs your heartstrings.

My daughter is eleven. At times she would ask me a question that I think she is too young to know the answer to.
What I tell her instead is that, though I can give her an answer, there are certain thoughts I do not want in her head. There are certain things she is too young to ponder or worry over. Let it go for a couple of years.
If she insists, I do give her an answer. Usually, she lets it go.

Hansa, the protagonist of Fighting for Tara is thirteen. She is worried about a dead husband, the man who will be her second husband, the second husband's first wife, and most of all about her daughter.
She is just thirteen, I want to shout.

As I mentioned before the subject and the writing of this book moved me from the very beginning.

The one ray of light is the fact that Hansa is literate. The Rani Sahiba of the village has taught her and Hansa's thoughts reflect her knowledge.
"Somewhere deep in her heart, Hansa knew none of this was fair. It wasn't fair that in a country with a rich heritage of brave queens, where the people had elected a female Prime Minster not long ago, young girls were still forced into marriage, sometimes to men older than their grandfathers. It wasn't fair that a girl child was considered a burden on parents. It wasn't fair that she'd been born to poor parents in rural Rajasthan, a state rife with archaic traditions. It wasn't fair that she had matured early..."

Hansa is in a grave situation, and her life till then has not given her any motivation to be strong or independent.
But now she has been asked to kill her daughter, Tara - an infant that the soon-to-be husband refuses to accept.

Fighting for Tara is an amazing story of Hansa's strength. 

'The combined wisdom of ancestors' - this phrase has been used in this book to describe our customs. Our ancestors clearly didn't know it all. 
As Hansa chooses to defy this wisdom, her thoughts are made me smile...
"Now was the time to walk on a path she made for herself and her baby, to forge her own destiny. Her ancestors would be shocked!"

A couple in America trying to conceive, the harsh truth of the financial troubles of royalty in modern India, the life of immigrants in America, and Tara's struggles to give a good life to her daughter - Fighting for Tara is a multi-faceted story and the author makes you connect to each facet as it is introduced.
Whether you like a character or not, you understand them.

I could analyze that certain twists of this story seem to be almost impossible in reality. As you read it, you feel like 'that's too good to be true'. 
Well, I could analyze it, because I thought so a couple of times while reading this book. 
But I won't. Because I loved this book and I will accept it with these twists.
Also, they do say that 'reality is stranger than fiction'. This book showcases some very grim realities. I would like to believe in the reality of the smiles too.

Fighting for Tara is a story that despite its' sad subject leaves you with hope...
"...what if happiness was a choice? Events weren't inherently happy or sad. It was her reaction to them that determined her state of mind. She could choose to be happy with her circumstances, whatever they may be."

Fighting for Tara is a story that deserves to be read... because it makes you think of the social problems prevalent in our country, yes... but mainly because it is a beautiful, very well-written, emotional story of love and hope.

"...love is a language that knows no boundaries, no borders. It's universal. It's just the nuances of that language that are sometimes hard to understand."

*  *  *

The italicized text in quotation marks are quotes from the book.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

*  *  *

How far will a mother go to save her child?
“I have no use for a baby girl. Get rid of her tonight!” He towered over her as she cringed in fear.
But Hansa, a thirteen-year-old child-bride in rural India, refuses to remain a victim of the oppressive society where a female child is an unwanted burden. Instead of drowning her baby, Hansa escapes from her village with three-month-old Tara.
Hansa soon discovers that life as a teenage mother is fraught with danger. But a single lie opens the door to a promising opportunity far from home.
Just seven years later, Hansa finds herself fighting for Tara’s life once more, this time in an American court, with a woman she calls ‘Mother.’
Will the lie upon which Hansa built her life, defeat its own purpose? How can she succeed when no one believes the truth? 
A story of two mothers, two daughters and a fight to save a child, Fighting for Tara explores the depth of love and motherhood.
Read an excerpt of #FFT here:

The soft light of the lantern flickered, casting a dim golden glow in the tiny hut, as shadows danced on its windowless mud walls. Thirteen-year-old Hansa squatted on the floor beside a metal bucket and stared at the glimmering water, dreading the task before her. Her baby whimpered on the floor, struggling in the hand-sewn cloth blanket. Beside the door stood the terracotta urn that held the ashes of her husband.
Hansa heard the grating snores of her drunken brother-in-law Baldev, soon to be her husband, as he slept outside on the wood-framed coir cot in the moonless night. She shuddered.
Just an hour ago, Baldev had yelled at her. “I have no use for a baby girl. Get rid of her tonight!” He towered over her as she cringed in fear.
She’d begged him. “I can’t do it!”
That’s when he’d slapped her. No one had ever hit her before… not even her elderly husband.
Hansa touched her cheek, which still stung from the humiliation and fear.
She doubted her courage to extinguish the baby’s life. Squeezing her eyes shut, she took a deep breath, hoping that dawn would bring her luck.
Tomorrow morning Hansa would travel with Baldev and all the goats they could load into his bullock-cart, and leave the village forever. She would go to a distant land, become Baldev’s second wife, learn the household chores from his first wife, and bear him male heirs… Hansa shivered, apprehensive about her future.
But before her new life could begin, she and Baldev would take a detour to the river to disperse her husband’s ashes and discard her beautiful daughter’s body.
Somewhere deep in her heart, Hansa knew none of this was fair. It wasn’t fair that in a country with a rich heritage of brave queens, young girls were still forced into marriage, sometimes to men older than their grandfathers. It wasn’t fair that she’d been born to poor parents in rural Rajasthan, a state rife with archaic traditions. It wasn’t fair that she had matured early and was given to sixty-year old Gyanchand Rathore from the neighboring village of Dharni, whose first wife and child had died in a fire.
She turned her face away from the bucket, her heart refusing to carry out Baldev’s orders just yet. A shiver ran through her body as she tried not to imagine life without her baby. Think of something else! Think about Gyani!
Gyani’s absence filled Hansa with a dark desolation, a sense of doom, as if his death itself was a living, breathing, overbearing entity.
She thought of his kind eyes, his missing teeth and graying beard, the massive orange turban which she’d tied for him every morning, and the long kurta he wore, which never looked clean no matter how many times she washed it…
But Gyani was gone. Two nights ago, his heart had stopped beating in his sleep, while she slept under the same blanket, her baby right beside her. When she awoke at dawn to the rooster’s call, she had found his cold still body. She shuddered to think she had slept with a corpse, oblivious, in the comfort of her own youthful warmth. Her first encounter with death. And if she did as Baldev asked, there would be another. Tonight.
Gyani’s death had stunned her, and grief hadn’t sunk in. She had not wept for his departed soul, and her neighbor warned her that if she didn’t mourn his passing, she would never move on. But did Hansa really want to move on into a future that included Baldev but excluded her baby?
According to the custom of karewa, Hansa knew that a young widow would be married off to her brother-in-law, so that the money remained in the family. Her neighbor had told her it was her kismet, her fate.
Hansa was brought up not to challenge the norms of society, but to follow them. If the combined wisdom of her ancestors had determined that she should move to Baldev’s village and begin a new life, who was she to argue? She had no family left, no other place to go.
Baldev choked on his spit and coughed outside, jarring the stillness of the night, reminding her of the task ahead.
But while it was her duty to follow Baldev’s orders, she would trade the impending task for eternal damnation.
Her neighbor had said that killing a baby was an unforgivable sin, even though she’d herself drowned two of her daughters the day they were born. Women are the form of Goddess, she’d said, crying at the fate of her own rotten soul.
But it was a matter of survival. Produce a male heir or be turned out on the streets to beg. A female child was a burden. Even Hansa knew that; her father had reminded her of that every day of her life.
That prejudice was her reality.
Hansa was terrified for her own soul, but Baldev said, “A mother can’t be a sinner if she takes a life she brought into this world.” And then he had gone and got drunk on tharra.
Gyani had been unlike most men in the village. He had allowed her to keep the baby, to give her a name. The baby’s eyes glittered like stars on a moonless night.
She called her Tara. Star.
Hansa looked at her baby with pride and with remorse, as every fiber of her being protested, and her stomach turned and her throat tightened.
Outside, Baldev stirred.
Time was running out.
Tara whimpered again, and Hansa turned to look at her chubby fists cycling in the still air, throwing outsized shadows on the walls. Hansa’s hands shook and her mouth turned dry. She bit her lip, forcing herself to focus on the imminent task.
The water in the bucket shimmered black and gold, reflecting the dancing flame of the lantern, mesmerizing, inviting. Water, the giver of life…

She made up her mind. It was now or never.

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About the author

Freelance author, blogger, and ex-Indian Air Force physician Sunanda Joshi Chatterjee completed her graduate studies in Los Angeles, where she is a practicing pathologist. While medicine is her profession, writing is her passion. When she’s not at the microscope making diagnoses, she loves to write fiction. Her life experiences have taught her that no matter how different people are, their desires, fears, and challenges remain the same.

Her themes include romantic sagas, family dramas, immigrant experience, women’s issues, medicine, and spirituality. She loves extraordinary love stories and heartwarming tales of duty and passion. Her short stories have appeared in short-story.net and induswomanwriting.com.

She grew up in Bhilai, India, and lives in Arcadia, California with her husband and two wonderful children. In her free time, she paints, reads, sings, goes on long walks, and binge-watches TV crime dramas.

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Monday, 17 October 2016

Book Review (Jatin Kuberkar's Cabbing All The Way)

Title: Cabbing All The Way
Author: Jatin Kuberkar

As the title and cover suggest, Jatin Kuberkar's Cabbing all the way is an account of the experience of sharing a cab by a few collegues to commute to their office.

From office politics to appraisal troubles and personal problems to ego issues, this book touches on many subjects that affect the life of the ones trying to find a foothold in the corporate world.

Jatin Kuberkar's narrative reads like a journal with the small details of everyday life dominating it.

It is the introspections that I found especially interesting.

"I don't know why, but of late I was starting to feel that I have in me, two different beings. One of them emotional. It is grounded to its values, it stops me from reacting to situations, it makes me observe the little wonders in everyday life, encourages me to see the brighter side, and sometimes... The other is, as I wish to call it, judgemental. Notorious for furious outbursts, it quickly jumps to conclusions. It is strong-headed, it asks me to be selfish, pessimistic and often teases me with phrases like 'grow up'!"

Journal-style that it is, Cabbing all the way is rather slow and indulges in much trivia.
Cabbing all the way is not a book that keeps you hooked with the plot and the story. It is the characters, their idiosyncrasies, their differences, and the author's style of writing that makes it interesting all the way.

This book is quite a rulebook on how to survive in an office. Certain solutions are a little too easy and simplistic, but they deserve a read.

Based in Hyderabad, the lingo of the place, especially related to food spice up the descriptions, and are aptly explained too through footnotes.

"Sometimes I feel that Hyderabad is the 'Babel City' of the modern times where nobody understands each other. All the areas we travelled through were major traffic junctions. Everyone was in a mad rush. Each traffic signal ended up into another mini traffic jam because no one followed any rules..."

Just as true for Delhi as for Hyderabad, I have to say :P

The author takes his time introducing the readers to each of the characters. And does so with a style...

"If a spoon full of Abhishek Bachchan, a little Hrithik Roshan and a whole lot of Keshto Mukherjee were to be blended together, the end product would be Mohan. Confused, heroic and Kehsto!"

In author's own words he is "lost in wondering and documenting the complexities of human nature."

With the characters evolving through the course of the book, Cabbing all the way is a study in the emotions

Cabbing all the way is the author's celebration of sharing time and experiences, of becoming friends and of letting go...
The author's love for Bollywood, food, Hyderabad and is obvious in his style of writing. 

The premise of the book is rather simple. The wit, the details, and the local touch make it an interesting read.

*  *  *
The italicized text in quotation marks are quotes from the book.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

*  *  *


Twelve people agree to an idea of running a shared transport service from a common residential locality to their out-of-civilisation office campus. Twelve different minds with equally diverse personalities gel with each other to fulfill a common need. At first, the members collide on mutual interests, timings, priorities and personal discipline, but in the course of their journey, they become best friends, make long-lasting relationships, mentor and help each other on various mundane matters. The journey goes on fine until one day some members try to dictate terms over the group. The rift widens with each passing day, the tension surmounts and finally all hell breaks loose... Will the journey continue? Fasten your seatbelts for the journey is about to begin...

Read an excerpt @

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About the author

Take an ounce full of imagination and a scoop of humor. Mix them well. Now put a few teaspoons of feelings and emotions and simmer until it smells good. Add spices for taste. Put the mixture on the platter of dreams and garnish it with a few peanuts of desires and some herbs of passion – that’s all it takes to be Jatin Kuberkar. Jatin is a software engineer by day and a passionate writer by night. When not tangled in software codes, Jatin likes to express his inspirations in the form of poetry, short stories, novels, and essays.

He lives in Hyderabad and adorns polymorphic forms in his personal life as a son, a husband, a father, a friend, a mentor, an observer, a critic and the list goes on… He is an ardent lover of Hyderabadi biryani and is a worshipper of chaai. If granted a boon, Jatin would love to learn magic from Hogwarts and fly around on a broom stick. 

Jatin is the author of two other books. Rainbow Dreams, a collection of poetry and While I Was Waiting, a collection of short stories. This is Jatin’s third book.

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Book Review (Sutapa Basu's Dangle)

Title: Dangle
Author: Sutapa Basu

Sutapa Basu's Dangle is the story of Ipshita - an independent, successful, and confident woman. She is a travel show host, traveling abroad alone. That is the first impression.

Things are usually not what they seem to be. I could never understand the whole 'first impression being the last one' belief anyway.

Soon after I found yourself questioning this perception.

There seems to be some fear in her. Is it some past experience that is haunting her, I wondered.

Another important person in this story is Adi, an understanding, dependable, almost permanent fixture in Ipshita's life.

The story of these two is not a usual one. There are many layers to the past of each of the characters of Dangle.
Ipshita's struggles and the reasons behind them form the core of this book.

The story of Dangle moves from Chicago to Delhi to Manipur to Singapore.

Dangle has details of all these places and since it is written from Ipshita's point of view, she compares each of these places to her hometown, Delhi.

Surprisingly (and credit to the author for it) that this doesn't feel verbose or boring.

I especially enjoyed reading about Manipur - its' beauty, its' political instability, and the way the author analyses the two.

"Life hung on such a delicate thread! One yank and everything could go up in smoke; the identity of the victims be damned! This is the real dangle!"

Ipshita goes through life evaluating it. Seeing contradictions and changes. Seeing 'dangles'. 
Too many? Maybe. But I didn't mind them. Sensitivity (or over-sensitivity) does that to a person, I guess.

The thing is that pretty soon I guessed what was actually going on. Not that it mattered because there is much more to the story, but I would have preferred if I hadn't known. My bad, though... I just knew.

Ipshita's character is not one I can relate to. The story of Dangle is interesting, but as I said, I guessed part of what was going on.

For me, it is the writing that kept me hooked from the first sentence to the last. 
Every thought, every experience, every emotion is finely expressed by Sutapa Basu.

The intensity of Sutapa Basu's writing is such that you feel you live in the characters' head.

Another highlight in this book is the details of the life in the Army. The little details of both the comforts and the risk that an Army man experiences are woven into the story.

The title Dangle gets many interpretations through the philosophical thoughts of Ipshita.

"Life is always a dangle! Between now or never; between this and that; between being and not being; Life is how you see it, do it, take it."

"Life is a dangle... Yes, in a limbo between kindness and heartlessness..."

I did feel that the dangle angle was mentioned a little too often. But the premise behind the title is very good and the author usually creates a situation where the 'dangle' makes you ponder.

"She was alone but not lonely. That was the dangle!"

"Serenity can be a treacherous dangle!"

"...she balanced anger, bitterness and revenge against filial love and loyalty."

There is a lingering darkness, a mystery in Dangle that keeps you hooked.

*  *  *

The italicized text in quotation marks are quotes from the book.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.



Stunning, svelte, smart Ipshita is a globetrotter. She treks across the world to gather bytes for the travel chats she designs and hosts for TV channels. Despite being a self assured and sophisticated entrepreneur, Ipshita is haunted by a nameless fear. Social interaction with men unleashes psychotic turmoil inside her, making her wary of male attention. Yet, the cold and aloof Ips is inexorably drawn to the three men she meets at different points in her journey. 

Her arousal to the overtures of these men catches her unawares. Well-built defenses break as her dormant sexuality goes into overdrive until she discovers the horrifying truth about them…and herself. 

Life puzzles. Secrets tumble out. Will she be able to reclaim her life or let it dangle?

Read an excerpt from Dangle
  The lilt of a flute fills half shadows. Emerald green silk unfurls to lavender hills. Mist gives way to a golden spectacle. Thickly embroidered into flowing waters are hundreds of lotuses. Sunlight dazzles on ruby, sapphire, turquoise, and amethyst that reluctantly open their layers to reveal honeyed hearts. The humming of multitudes of bees reverberates in the room. Intoxicated by the sun-drenched perfume of blossoms, they weave in and out of the pattern. Sheer colours daze the senses. Drumbeats intrude softly, only to rise to a crescendo.
Another shape enters the frame. Hazy at first, the outlines darken gradually. It is an empty square etched in bold strokes holding within it diagonally a metallic piece curved to the bent of an index finger. The lens zoom out.  The shape takes definition. It is  the trigger of a snub-nosed AK-47. The drums fall silent.
Everybody holds their breath. There is a thud and the face of Beauty is blotted with a gun stamped on it. There is a collective gasp. The screen stills. Strobes pick out a small crowd, including cameras on cantilever arms. Each person in the room is mesmerized…nobody can look away.

Giving a couple of seconds for the impact to sink in, the focus beams on Ipshita, the host. She begins the chat. Microphones pick up frequencies of her voice, enhancing its soft huskiness. Statistics and logistics start appearing on two screens flanking the bigger screen on which images are projected. She proceeds as visions of  paddy fields, streets of Imphal, slim girls in phaneks with long raven-black hair flying, fishermen casting bait, rowing boats, sitting still as rocks for fish to bite fill the screen behind her. She goes on to the fascinating scenes of Loktak, the floating islands, the fisherman’s hut and through her words she builds up a metaphor. It is of Manipur, a dainty nymph struggling to escape rape by Mars, the god of war. She is crushed, yet nothing erodes her indomitable spirit. 

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About the Author

An author, poet and publishing consultant, Sutapa Basu also dabbles in art and trains trainers and is a compulsive bookworm. During a thirty-year old professional career as teacher, editor, and publisher, she travelled the Indian subcontinent, Nepal and Bhutan. She has visited UK, USA, Dubai and Singapore while working with Oxford University Press, India and Encyclop√¶dia Britannica, South Asia until 2013 when she decided to start writing seriously. 

Sutapa is an Honours scholar from Tagore’s Visva-Bharti University, Santiniketan and holds a teaching as well as a masters degree in English Literature. 

As a publisher, Sutapa has developed and published around 400 books. Recently, her short story was awarded the First Prize in the Times of India’s nation-wide WriteIndia Contest, under author, Amish Tripathi. 

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Friday, 7 October 2016

My Closest Yaar...

There are many platitudes about friendship. I have realized that some hold true for some friends, but is there anything that holds true for all the friends.
Who is a friend?

Reminds me of all those slam books we would write in… What is love? Who is a friend? And many more such profound question.
And how innocently we would fill it up.

Some of us will use famous quotations –
“A friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.”

The oft-used “A friend in need, is a friend indeed”… sounds so tacky now.

Some would answer with stuff like-
“Roses are red
Violets are blue
My friend is the best
And that is you”

As I read through these, I realize that I have lost touch with most of these friends. Some of them I am not even able to find on facebook.

Today, the one thing that really defines friendship for me is that it is something that stands the test of time.

Clicking the experiences -

I know it’s such a clich√© to say that my sister is my closest Yaar.
So convenient, no?

Not convenient, actually.

It is a blessing to have a sister with whom you have just two years of age difference, and with whom you share interests.
Believe me, being on the ‘same wavelength’ is extremely important. I have known people whose siblings have made their growing years a real pain.

In my case, things were more or less a smooth sailing.
We discovered the joy of reading together.
The two of us would have serious philosophical discussions.
We would watch Bold and the Beautiful, and Beverly Hills 90210.
We ventured into a new way of thinking after watching Oprah Winfrey Show. And yes, many more serious discussions followed after watching this one.

Then she got married.
Things changed a little, but whenever we would meet I was in the same zone and we could grasp some of the lost magic for a time.

And I got married.
There was no more a common ground always there for when we would meet. The get-togethers at the parents’ place were so very rare, it seemed.

Almost two decades later, we are back to being best friends.

Laughing it off -

Interestingly, she’s my 11-year-old daughter’s best friend too.
Just last night, my daughter called her up at 10 at night, and blabbered on and on.
My sister was busy but made time.
And the two of us laughed about it later.

People change. Time, circumstances, and experiences (in one word, life) change them. We changed too.

It is the rediscovering each other, it is remembering the old times, it is being able to speak your mind without thinking that make for great friendships.

The fact that my closest friend is also my sister has its’ added benefit.
I have someone to fall back upon during all the celebrations in the extended family.

True friendship stands the test of time. How does one do that?
I am going to use another famous quote to answer this.
“Accept me as I am. Only then can we discover each other.”

Dreams that wake you up (Book Review: Nilesh Rathod's Destiny of Shattered Dreams)

Title: Destiny of Shattered Dreams
Author: Nilesh Rathod
Genre: Fiction

Destiny of Shattered Dreams is the story of Atul Malhotra, a billionaire at the age of 35, having founded a successful telecom company. 

As the story begins, he is being sent to prison, over corruption and various economic offenses. 

As we get to know Atul Malhotra's story, we live through a story of "Passion and ambition, deceit and drama."
Atul comes across as a good person, stuck in a bad system.

"...corruption was a necessary evil that fired the engines of democratic politics. Corruption existed in political systems by design."
"he did his dishonest work with a lot of ethics and accountability."

But at times, he does come across a little naive, though.
He is a tycoon, but the author makes too many excuses for him.
The book is written in third person narrative, but the perspective is more often than not, Atul's. Maybe that is why it often seems that his actions are being justified.

In Atul's words-
"My ambitions and dreams cost me my conscience. I could never stop seeking."

The narrative of Destiny of Shattered Dreams is rather slow in places with too many details. On the other hand, it manages to retain your attention despite this. The curiosity of what would happen next is strong.

There are certain details that bothered. Small details like champagne and unprescribed medicine during pregnancy.
I don't know much about the world of finance. This book though has quite a few details about it. They didn't affect the flow of the story much, but I am going to assume that the information is right.

The changes in feelings are very sudden. Why do you not love anyone anymore, or why do you now love someone? As a reader, I could have been convinced better.

It is the shayari (poetry) in this book that is my favourite.

Shola sa bhadak udtha, socha ab to muje samaa lega,
Aag hi aag haeh, magar qazaa se pehele woh bhi kahan khaakh dega.
(Something like the spart did leap, I thought that now at last it wil absorb me,
Fire fire all the way but how shall it give cinders before destiny's decree.)

Through the words of Qazi Sahib, Nilesh Rathod gives out many other advises too.
"Time has no mind of its own."
"What was right yesterday will not necessarily be right tomorrow; speeding is no good without the ability to brake." 

Emotions and relationships, in this book, are told. You, as a reader, don't always feel them.

Relationships serve a certain purpose in this story of ambition, ethics, corruption, 
A little like a Bollywood movie where love, feelings, and relationships have a place and then they disappear from the scene for long periods of time, when other more important things are happening.
"...one person's dreams can become another's baggage."

Destiny of Shattered Dreams is above all a story of Atul's self-discovery on both professional and personal level.
From that point of view, it is actually a success, because even as he suffers, he comes out of it a better, more self-aware person.

This book is the story of doing business in India and does a good job of it. Between the lines, and at times very obviously, it also includes the life lessons of a happy life.

My Favorite Quotes from Destiny of Shattered Dreams

*  *  *

The italicized text in quotes are excerpts from the book.

*  *  *

An insider’s view into what goes on behind the glittering facade of corporate stardom, DESTINY of SHATTERED DREAMS is a fast-paced
tale of a brilliant young man’s meteoric rise. It is also a moving portrayal of the fallibility of love.

Ambition, passion
and raw courage are Atul Malhotra’s key aides to realizing his dreams as he learns the art of gambling for high stakes. What follows is a game of treachery, infidelity and murder.

The book lays bare the sordid corporate-politico nexus that compels this once middle-class boy to deftly learn the ropes and negotiate a world where dirty deals and power plays can make or break lives, where one wrong choice could be fatal.

A tale of yachts and hidden Swiss accounts, sordid affairs of lust, intrigue and exhilarating highs, Nilesh Rathod’s Destiny of Shattered Dreams is also the story of innocence forever lost.

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About the Author
Author Nilesh Rathod (Image Souce)
Nilesh Rathod is a businessperson, writer and poet. Co-founder of Ensemble Infrastructure India Limited, Nilesh’s company currently employs over 2000 people.

Destiny of Shattered Dreams is his debut novel. Nilesh is currently working on his second novel. He lives in Mumbai, you may email him at nilesh@nileshrathod.in or visit his webpage http://www.nileshrathod.in You may also follow him on twitter @authornilesh or at http://facebook.com/authornilesh

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Quotes from Nilesh Rathod's Destiny of Shattered Dreams

"All suffering is a consequence of a constant quest. A quest to follow a mirage, the mirage that is the creation of our mind, the illusion of happiness, the illusion of being loved. That is what it is. Love itself is an illusion. We misuse the word so much we forget what it means. It means nothing, because it simply does not exist. It is the destiny of the mind to seek. When it does not discover what it seeks, it gives birth to hopelessness. And given our undying spirit, from that hopelessness rises hope itself. This hope takes us to the quest all over again, churning us in an endless cycle of suffering. This cycle is called life. Suffer you will, one way or the other..."

"Children are like water; they don't much care where the stream takes them. They do nothing to avoid or follow the contours."

"Hate is a conscious emotion, but we rarely express it openly. Identifying hate in oneself is probably even more difficult than identifying love. Hate must not be confused with anger. It is very different. Hate has no reasons. Often, it just sits deep in our body, rarely expending itself in a way that we can identify. Hate must be dispensed with periodically, when the object of hate is no longer there, hate cannot thrive, and the mind becomes hollow and without purpose."

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

An impressive collection (Book Review: Metro Diaries-2 by Namrata)

Title: Metro Diaries - 2
Author: Namrata
Genre: Short Story Collection

Stories that are written from knowing, and at times, observing the people we meet and come across in our rush of surviving in the big cities... Metro Diaries - 2 is a collection of sensitive stories that demonstrate the author's brilliance in expressing emotions.

Metro Diaries - 1 is a collection of love stories. Having read and enjoyed it, I was looking forward to the second in the series. 
I had read that this one dealt with an array of feelings. What I had not expected was the shock of very first story.
The author, Namrata is clearly writing about the darker side of human nature unapologetically, and yet with sensitivity.

With some of the stories of Metro Diaries - 2, the author has unraveled the chaos that is the feelings of the characters of each of the stories. 
The second collection of Metro Diaries touches on various emotions. 

These stories explore love and betrayal, righteousness and revenge, success and regrets, loyalty and deceit, smiles and tears, transsexuality and search for identity, and more.

My two favorites from this collection - two really good tales with a surprising twist - are Love v/s Hate and Veil Thy Love.

The writing of the author describes relationships, emotions, and thoughts with innovative expressions and metaphors.

"beautifully chiseled eyes... they held the power of a thousand sunrises."

"...took to her new home just like milk to sugar."

"It looks like a game of cat and mouse; the bigger hand chasing the smaller one. Anyone stronger... tramples upon the weak ones - that is the rule of the world. There are only two possible reasons behind it, love or hate. When you love someone you want to control everything that person does and hence, sometimes, knowingly or unknowingly you squash them like melons.
While on the other hand in the case of hate, there is no need to specify the reason for walking over someone like that. Hate is a strong reason in itself."

There is a lot of hurt and disillusionment in these stories, but there is hope too. 
The common thread between all the stories of this collection is that they move you, and you can relate to them.

There are even two stories that have identical beginnings. How different can people be? Do we really know anyone?

More often than not, the story is told through the thoughts of the characters. One thought leads to another and through these, a story emerges.
It seems as if one is hearing someone's thoughts and discovering them. The stories are thoughts woven together. 

In author's words:
"Nothing is as mystifying as the human nature and this book is a tribute to it."
"...this collection of stories will make you relook at life in a renewed manner and make you ponder over your definition of it till now."

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The italicized text in quotation marks are quotes from the book.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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About The Book

Give life another chance. Laugh a little longer. let go of your past. Hold onto what you love. In short LIVE rather than just exist!

Some told, some untold, some heard and some unheard - this collection of stories will make you look at life in a different light and make you ponder over its definition of it till now.

Goodreads I Amazon

Quotes from Metro Diaries 2

All the money his parents earned sadly could never buy a moment’s peace for any of them as they kept drifting away like lost constellations into the space. Together they surely were in a way, but light years away in every manner. There was absolutely no connection between them. They just were like every other thing that existed in the universe… the oceans, the sky, the earth, the stars, the sun and the moon. You couldn’t change anything about them even if you didn’t like the way they were. – The Last Kiss (Metro Diaries Part 2)

You are enough in everything and anything you do in this world. Others are here to serve as a distraction so that they reach their goals before yours and become winners. – The Last Kiss (Metro Diaries Part 2)

At times in life we always see what we are being shown and not what lies behind that cloak of disguise. We believe all that comes our way without doubting that there could be a trick or maybe just a hallucination. – Charlatan (Metro Diaries Part 2)

Life they say is a like a jigsaw puzzle and we are all like those pieces trying to find where we fit in. – Labour of Love (Metro Diaries Part 2)

Perhaps she had forgotten the thumb rule for survival here. There is nothing called yours here.  No will, no desire, no dreams, no ambitions….nothing. Not even your name. – The Plummet (Metro Diaries Part 2)

What else do you do when you are a teenager? Life seems to be one long party full of fun and frolic with your best friends all around. You just know your world is full of rainbow colours; sweetness of chocolates filling it and abundant beautiful dresses to doll you up.  Love and relationships take a different meaning altogether now making you look at everything around including yourself in newer light. – Love v/s hate (Metro Diaries Part 2)

I always felt I knew what I wanted in life. But today I realized how wrong I was. I was chasing mirages as the reality kept going away from me and now I am left with nothing in hand – Rags to Riches(Metro Diaries Part 2)

People make memories and then reach a phase where memories make people! – Mou Athena (Metro Diaries Part 2)

About the Author - Namrata

Namrata is A Lost Wanderer who loves traveling the length and breadth of the world. A published author in various anthologies and magazines she enjoys capturing the magic of life in her words. She is forever in pursuit of a new country and a new story.

Contact the Author:
Website * Facebook * Twitter

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